For Immediate Release — Friday, August 26, 2005


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

New School Year Begins at SUNY Geneseo with Today's Opening Convocation

GENESEO, N.Y. — A new volunteer program, a week chock full of activities and the traditional collegiate occasion of convocation await new students at the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Approximately 5,295 students prepare to begin classes at the 134-year-old institution, which continues to be recognized as one of the most outstanding public liberal arts colleges in the country.

President Christopher C. Dahl will share some of the highlights of the year ahead and the academic year just ended during his Opening Convocation address to be delivered to faculty and staff at 3 p.m. today, Friday, Aug. 26.

Incoming class one of most academically qualified in history of the college

Geneseo continues to attract high school graduates who have achieved remarkable accomplishments. This year's first-year class of 1,073 registered students enters Geneseo with impressive academic credentials and includes 37 high school valedictorians, according to Director of Admissions Kris Shay and Director of Institutional Research Catherine H. Renner. The mean combined SAT averages this year are 1281, an increase over last year's average of 1262. The mean high school average is 93.3, an increase over last year's 93. Geneseo's first-year class will be officially welcomed to the campus at the New Student Convocation, to be held on the College Green at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28. Dahl and Gregg Hartvigsen, associate professor of biology, will speak. The title of Hartvigsen's speech is "Hard Work is for the Unimaginative."

New volunteer program launched this year

Geneseo has launched a new program this year called "100 Volunteers" so that new first-year and transfer students can give something back to the community while meeting and working with other new students. The program is a one-morning volunteer effort on Labor Day — Monday, Sept. 5 — during which the students will help citizens in need at various locations around Livingston County. The students' efforts will range from cleaning up yards, painting, clearing trails or serving senior citizens. More information is available at

Week of Welcome offers students plethora of activities

The college will welcome the return of its students beginning today with 11 days of activities ranging from field trips and athletic events to seminars on a variety of topics. "WOW: Week of Welcome" will run from Friday, Aug. 26, through Monday, Sept. 5. The residence halls open for new students at 8 a.m. Aug. 26. The Department of College Union and Activities has planned numerous events and activities to welcome and inform new and returning students and to build community. Today's activities include a reception at President Christopher C. Dahl's house on Main Street from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., an all-campus picnic from 4:30-6 p.m. on Sturges Quad and a crafts program from 9-11 p.m. In addition, students, faculty and staff will discuss Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed," required reading for all first-year students, from 4:45-6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, in locations throughout campus. More information on the reading program can be found at Other events throughout the week will include flag football, trips to Niagara Falls and Six Flags Darien Lake, midnight movies, and a horse rescue service project from 1-5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4. A full list of activities can be found at

Geneseo lauded in national college guides

Two well-known and highly respected national college guides have again acknowledged the outstanding liberal arts education offered at Geneseo. In the 2006 edition of "America's Best Colleges," published by U.S. News & World Report, Geneseo tied at No. 12 out of the top 84 institutions listed in the category "Best Universities – Master's" for the northern region. U.S. News takes into account both public and private colleges and universities in this category. Geneseo also appears at No. 2 among the "Top Public Universities – Master's" for the northern region. Geneseo also was profiled in the 2006 edition of The Princeton Review's Guide to "The Best 361 Colleges." The Review named Geneseo a Best Northeastern College, a distinction it shares this year with 223 other colleges and universities.

2005 awards for excellence presented to faculty and staff at Opening Convocation

The following awards for excellence are to be presented to Geneseo faculty and staff at the president's annual opening convocation today:

Debra Hill of Geneseo, executive director, Alumni and Parent Relations — President's Award for Outstanding Professional Service; Savitri Iyer of Brighton, associate professor of physics — President's Award for Excellence in Academic Advising; Michael Oberg of Brighton, associate professor of history, Lockhart Professor for Research/Creative Endeavors; Mark Mitschow of Avon, associate professor of business — President's Award for Excellence in Research and Creativity; Jennifer Katz, assistant professor of psychology — Harter Faculty Mentoring Award; Jeremy Grace of Geneseo, lecturer of political science and international relations — Joseph M. O'Brien Award for Excellence in Part-Time Teaching; and Emilye Crosby of Rochester, associate professor of history, Roemer Professor.

Limelight & Accents series kicks off with Shakespeare event Oct. 1

"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" will kick off the college's Limelights & Accents series on Oct. 1. In this comedic tribute to the works of William Shakespeare, three actors take on the task of performing 37 plays and 154 sonnets in under two hours. No play is safe from this troupe, as "Othello," "Romeo and Juliet" and "Titus Andronicus" all get special "abridged" makeovers. The performance will be held at 8 p.m. in the Wadsworth Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for SUNY Geneseo students, $12 for faculty and staff, and $15 for the general public.